"I don't realize the magnitude of what I've achieved" - Heffernan

The Cork man triumphed in the 50K walk at the athletics World Championships and spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime

On a glorious day for Irish athletics, Rob Heffernan won gold in the 50K walk at the World Championships in Moscow.

The Cork athelte lead throughout the latter half of the race in hot conditions in Moscow which he completed in a time of 3 hours, 37 minutes and 56 seconds. He finished over a minute clear of the silver medalist.

Not only was it good enough to claim victory, it was also the second fastest ever time at the World Championships.

His gold medal also makes him Ireland's first athletics World Champion since Sonia O'Sullivan.

The victory is even sweeter for the Cork man who just missed out on a medal at last year's Olympic Games, finishing fourth.

 

Just hours after his extraordinary achievement, Rob was on the line to share his emotions with Jonathan Healy on Newstalk Lunchtime.

"I don't realize the magnitude that it's had on people. I prepared for everything that was going to happen today but it was a massive surprise coming into the stadium, and thinking this is really happening," he told Jonathan.

Listen to the full interview here: 

 

Jonathan also spoke to Rob's wife and fellow athlete Marian Heffernan and former Olympian and Senator Eamonn Coghlan:

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, former Olympic marathon silver medalist and the current Chief Executive of the Irish Sports council John Treacy said the 35 year old deserves his success: 

©INPHO/Ian MacNicol

 

To get an idea of the extent of preparation he has to go through in order to compete here are some photos of Robert Heffernan training for World Championships at Fitnessworx Gym, Tramore Road Cork.

Rob goes through an intense workout of strength and conditioning with large focus keeping posture musculature in check to deal with the physical demands of a grueling 50k walk.